TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City is hosting an international joint search-and-rescue exercise with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force beginning Tuesday in and around the Traverse City area.
The Royal Canadian Air Force's 424th Transport and Rescue Squadron based at CFB Trenton, Ontario, will be flying a CC-130 Hercules aircraft and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter during the search-and-rescue exercises taking place from October 13 to October 15th.
U.S. Coast Guard units participating include MH-65D Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Traverse City and vessels from Coast Guard Stations Charlevoix, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan.
Training operations will start Tuesday when Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews will begin classroom and ground-rescue briefings. Aircraft and vessels will then showcase search-and-rescue skills operationally during a number of mock rescue scenarios.
Crews from the RCAF and U.S. Coast Guard routinely work together on search-and-rescue incidents across the Great Lakes. Canadian CC-130 aircraft are often requested by U.S. Coast Guard search planners as long-range search platforms in U.S. waters, capable of covering large search areas with more than 8-10 hours of unrefueled flight time. U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 helicopters are routinely requested by the Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Center Trenton as rescue aircraft during Canadian search-and-rescues cases in Lake Superior and Lake Erie.
The public can expect to see an increase in air traffic including Canadian parachute operations & over-water boat-helicopter hoist operations in the vicinity of Manistee, Charlevoix and Grand Traverse Bay.
U.S. Coast Guard and RCAF crews work together across the Great Lakes responding to search-and-rescue incidents throughout the nearly 95,000 square miles and 10,000 mile shoreline, the largest surface area of fresh water in the world.